‘Fly Me to the Moon,’ Frank Sinatra & Count Basie

"It Might As Well Be Swing," a 1964 album teaming Frank Sinatra with Count Basie and His Orchestra, features "Fly Me to the Moon."

“It Might As Well Be Swing,” a 1964 album teaming Frank Sinatra with Count Basie and His Orchestra, features “Fly Me to the Moon” and other tracks.

It was just a coincidence, perhaps, that they both happened to be from New Jersey — Frank Sinatra, from Hoboken, and Count Basie, from Red Bank — but their occasional musical partnership was a remarkably fruitful one, yielding three great albums: Sinatra-Basie: An Historic Musical First (1962), It Might As Well Be Swing (1964) and the live recording Sinatra at the Sands (1966). Combine Sinatra’s charismatic vocal style with Basie’s robust approach to swing, and the results were almost always magical.

“Fly Me to the Moon,” from It Might As Well Be Swing, was perhaps their finest moment together: the definitive take on this often recorded Bart Howard-written song (Kaye Ballard was responsible for the first version, in 1954, when the song had a different title, “In Other Words”).

It was also, coincidentally, the first song ever heard on the moon: astronaut Buzz Aldrin (also a New Jerseyan, hailing from Montclair) played it there on a cassette player in 1969.

New Jersey celebrated its 350th birthday in 2014. And in the 350 Jersey Songs series, we marked the occasion by posting 350 songs — one a day, from September 2014 to September 2015 — that have something to do with the state, its musical history, or both. To see the entire list, click here.

We need your help!


Since launching in September 2014, NJArts.net, a 501(c)(3) organization, has become one of the most important media outlets for the Garden State arts scene. And it has always offered its content without a subscription fee, or a paywall. Its continued existence depends on support from members of that scene, and the state’s arts lovers. Please consider making a contribution of any amount to NJArts.net via PayPal, or by sending a check made out to NJArts.net to 11 Skytop Terrace, Montclair, NJ 07043.


Custom Amount

Personal Info

Donation Total: $20.00

Leave a Comment

Sign up for our Newsletter